Well-Known Research Doctor Speaks At The W Graduation

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – More than 300 students at Mississippi’s University for Women graduated this weekend.
The commencement speaker is no stranger to the friendly city of Columbus.
She earned her degree at The W and is now a well-known and respected medical researcher.
Dr. Doris Taylor was raised in Columbus, Mississippi.

At a young age, she knew she wanted to have a positive impact on the world.

Dr. Taylor became interested in medicine because of her twin brother and the loss of a loved one.

“He grew up with cerebral palsy and people in Columbus know that. They knew him when he was a kid and seeing him not have a fair chance at life made me want to make a difference. And also, having lost my dad when he was young, I didn’t want anyone to ever have to go through that,” said Dr. Doris Taylor.

Dr. Taylor is known as a pioneer in cardiovascular cell therapy.

Her research team was the first to prove it’s possible to repair hearts after heart attacks by transplanting cells in the heart.

Recently, her team created beating hearts using stem cells in the lab.

“I have to tell you, we could take a heart that had been dead for 8 days, treat it in the lab and see it beat again. And it’s one of those ‘wow!’ moments in life. It’s remarkable,” said Dr. Taylor.

She hopes her team will be able to end the shortage of organ donors by creating hearts with stem cells.

Dr. Taylor is proud of her accomplishments but for her, it’s all about saving lives.

“When you know that what you’re doing has the potential to make a difference and save somebody’s life, I don’t think it gets any better than that,” said Dr. Taylor.

She says it’s an honor to come back to The W and share her story with the graduates.

Dr. Taylor didn’t always have a plan for her life but she knew she wanted to change the world for good.

And it’s that determination that has landed her where she is today.

“I didn’t study hard. I didn’t work hard when I was in college and to have gotten where I’ve gotten and to be able to come back and see young men and women who are obviously brilliant and doing wonderful things and have the potential to get out and make their own difference in the world now, wow,” added Dr. Taylor.

During the graduation ceremony, she was awarded an honorary doctorate, the university’s highest honor.
Dr. Taylor is the director of both regenerative medicine research and the Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology and the Texas Heart Institute.

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